SURWASH: Minister Urges States’ Participation, Improved Funding For Programme


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The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Prof. Joseph Utsev has called on State Governments to support the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation And Hygiene (SURWASH) Programme by providing adequate funding for the provision of portable Water Supply and Sanitation in the States.

Prof. Utsev made the call while delivering his Keynote Address at the 3rd Federal Steering Committee (FSC) Meeting of the SURWASH Programme in Abuja on Thursday, February 1, 2024.

SURWASH is a $700 million World Bank Supported Programme aimed at increasing access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and to strengthen sector institutions in participating states in Nigeria.

Currently, the programme has seven participating States: Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau States.

Speaking, the Minister who Chaired the Meeting said, “improved funding will enable us achieve the activities set in this Work plan and we should also consider scaling up our activities that will lead to improved disbursements by the end of the 2024 Programme year and hence the rating of the Programme”.

He informed the Committee of the low annual disbursements in the previous years, therefore, there was a need for the participating states to be proactive and committed to the programme.

The Federal Steering Committee (FSC) is saddled with the responsibility of providing overall policy guidance and coordination of the programme by annually reviewing the performance of the programme and approving the annual programme work plan and budget.

Prof. Utsev noted that the meeting was originally scheduled to take place at the end of 2023, but was postponed due to logistical reasons. Therefore, it was imperative for the members to meet, discuss, and approve the annual work plan to help kick-start the programme for the year 2024.

While reviewing the programme, the Minister said, “in the second year of the programme, the implementing States achieved modest results in the preparation of the Policies, Institutions, and Reforms (PIR) and implemented annual performance activities under the Performance Improvement Action Plan (PIAPs) that will enable the sustainability of the programme.

He said, disbursements had been made accordingly to the States for the achieved results.

He expressed his profound gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his untiring support to the Ministry, stating that the Ministry has also resolved to contribute its quota to Mr. President’s “Renewed Hope Agenda” in the area of food security and job creation.

The SURWASH Programme has been designed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation in partnership with the World Bank to support the implementation of the National WASH Action Plan (NAP) launched in November 2018.

The Minister said, through the SURWASH, the Federal Government would make infrastructure investments and drive reforms in the five National WASH Action Plan areas of governance, sustainability, sanitation, funding & financing, and monitoring & evaluation that serve as the Government’s overall strategy and vehicle for investment and sector reforms.

Some notable dignitaries at the meeting were representatives of Ministers of Health, Finance, Humanitarian, and Women Affairs, and Commissioners from the seven participating States: Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau States.

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